Richmond eyes new trust to solve broadband issues

ARICHAT: Richmond County is hoping the establishment of a new trust can help finance improvements to broadband Internet in parts of the municipality.

During the regular monthly meeting of Richmond Municipal Council on March 26 in Arichat, CAO Kent MacIntyre told council about a new $120 million trust being established by the provincial government, specifically for broadband Internet.

MacIntyre said the province expects to have funding available in months, which gives Richmond County time to identify areas within the municipality suffering insufficient service.

“They’re now putting all of the parameters together with that $120 million fund and in the coming months they’ll be determining where that will be spent,” the CAO explained. “Of course, we’re going to be one of the municipalities lining up…”

Although the trust is targeted towards broadband Internet, MacIntyre said he wants to see if the trust will also facilitate better cellular phone coverage, particularly in areas like Framboise, Forchu and Dundee.

“We want to have cellular discussions and I don’t think it will be a stretch to have that discussion with the $120 million,” MacIntyre said of the trust. “It may be a fait accompli that it’s just broadband but at least we want to approach that and see if there’s an appetite, and if there is, can we do some cost-sharing to get some cellular coverage in some much needed areas.”